Labor leader Bill Shorten has called out Malcolm Turnbull as "cowardly and cruel" as Labor call on the Turnbull Government to fulfil its duty of care to asylum seekers who are about to have their income support cut, according to leaked documents.
Fairfax Media reports that up to 100 Australian-based asylum seekers will lose their income support this week and have three weeks to move out of government-supported accommodation.
It reports that the new policy, which will involve the issuance a new visa known as the 'final departure E bridging visa', means the refugees will effectively be thrown out on the streets.
Government to end financial support for up to 100 asylum seekers https://t.co/oA7n5rvboJ— SBS News (@SBSNews) August 27, 2017
Depite the Labor party known for being reluctant to fight over immigration, in a statement Shorten revealed the income cuts "won't fix anything".
"Kicking people onto the streets with no support is needlessly cruel and really, really dumb," Shorten said.
"Malcolm, this is not strong. This is cowardly and cruel. It's your weakest move yet."
According to Fairfax, the move affects refugees in Australia for medical reasons and will result in their income support of around $200 a fortnight being stopped.
They will also have a three-week deadline to move out of their provided accommodation.
Minster for Human Services Alan Tudge told Sky News the asylum seekers were now healthy and "can return back to Nauru, or to Manus Island or their home country".
"That's what we require them to do," he said on Sunday.
Labor Defence spokesman Richard Marles said Australia had an obligation to provide care to those impacted by the change.
"There is a duty of care which needs to be fulfilled in respect of those people and I think the Government needs to be very mindful in respect of how that duty of care is being fulfilled," he told ABC television.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said the decision to cutback on the assistance was an "unspeakable cruelty".
"We're talking about people who are traumatised, people who are vulnerable," he said.Suggest a correction